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MasterChef judge in ‘harassment’ dispute

Marcus Wareing has been accused of bullying by a former colleague (Photo: Getty Images)

A celebrity chef has accused Marcus Wareing of harassing him during his early years in the kitchen, prompting him to leave the job.

Ben Tish, acclaimed cookbook author and veteran of several Michelin-starred restaurants, shared his experiences on the Go-To podcast, revealing that the only job he ever left was at L’Oranger in the mid-’90s.

At the time, Wareing, 53, was quickly rising through the culinary ranks and won a Michelin star for his restaurant L’Oranger at the age of 25.

Tish, now 49, spoke of the difficult atmosphere he experienced under Wareing’s leadership, describing it as full of “banging” and “intimidation” that sometimes amounted to physical violence.

“It was just your typical rivalry and bullying,” Tish said. “I would say a little bit of physical pushing.”

The toxic environment ultimately proved unbearable for Tish, who recalled a key moment of confrontation.

“I worked for him for seven or eight months and finally I left. It was the only place I ever left,” he said. “I was supposed to be there one day and then I just didn’t go. I was sick of it.”

Tish told this story on a recent podcast episode (Photo: The Go-To Food Podcast)
The show currently stars Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace (Photo: BBC /Shine TV)

In a conversation with podcast hosts Ben Benton and Freddy Clode, Tish detailed the lead-up to his departure, noting that Wareing was ever-present and demanding in the kitchen. “He was there every day, cooking and serving,” Tish explained.

Despite the difficulties, Tish found solace in the camaraderie of fellow chef Angela Hartnett, who was the sous chef at the time. “Angela was wonderful. We often had coffee with her in the afternoon,” he recalled fondly.

When Tish finally decided to leave, he informed Wareing, who reacted sharply. “I said to him, ‘I’m going to leave,’ and he said, ‘Well, if you can’t be at my level, you might as well just hang up your apron and f*** off back to Skegness.’”

Tish said there was even some physical pushing (Photo: Steve Meddle/Shutterstock)

Wareing has not yet responded to Tish’s allegations.

However, he has previously addressed his reputation as a tough guy in the kitchen. In a 2015 interview with MailOnline, Wareing admitted: “If someone in my kitchen takes the easy way out I turn into Mr Shouty, but I’m always fair. I can be very relaxed.”

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